Though the season is over, the Memphis Grizzlies have done a lot of tremendous work off the court. We see the social media posts of Ja Morant’s workouts at IMG Academy, and of Justise Winslow rehabbing at the team’s facilities. However, where the Grizzlies have been making the biggest difference is off the court as they’ve been vocal in emphasizing the importance of voting in the upcoming election.
This past Saturday, the Grizzlies hosted Drive-Thru Voter Information drive outside FedExForum to educate citizens on what they need to do to be ready to vote. Coach Taylor Jenkins was active at this event, as he was waving signs, talking to fans and taking pictures with them, and genuinely going all in to make this event successful.
We had a great time at our Drive-Thru Voter Information Drive yesterday— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) September 27, 2020
: Register to vote. Fill out your 2020 Census. pic.twitter.com/wLV8Thoaod
Shortly before the event, Grizzlies PR had announced that FedExForum would be a location for the Shelby County Election Commission to count absentee ballots in the upcoming election.
Jaren Jackson Jr. has also been instrumental in voter’s awareness, as he was one of a few select basketball players — alongside former Grizzly Mike Conley as well — to team up with Rock the Vote in its “Hoopers Vote” initiative.
Jaren using his platform for this specific purpose is huge, as many in his age demographic (18-24 years old) will be voting for the very first time. It demonstrates real leadership.
“It’s tremendous what JJ’s doing,” Coach Jenkins told media at Saturday’s event. “The leadership role he’s taken over the last couple months with our team [and] our organization, and it’s all about making a difference. As you talked about, the generation that he’s in, the younger generations, the community he’s a part of, how he’s embraced Memphis as home. And he’s active in it.”
Coach also praised how he’s used multiple avenues to get the message across: the “Vote” social justice statement on his jersey, his platform for Rock the Vote, and conversations with those around him. He also spoke highly of the young star’s passion for what goes on off the court.
The conversations he and I have, there’s a passion behind it — about education, about awareness, and going out and just being a part of the change that we’re all asking for. The fact that he’s vocal, and he’s doing it a lot of different ways — the messaging, the jersey that he wears, and even the conversation he was with the people around him — you feel that passion, and you know that he’s wanting to make a difference. And his leadership hopefully inspires a lot of people to make change as well.
It’s great to see the Grizzlies organization set the standard and lead the charge on stressing the importance of voting, because it is a right we all have and a chance to make a real difference. In a time with a lot of unrest in the midst of social justice issues and in this pandemic, it’s imperative for us to go out and make a difference.
You can register to vote here.